Relationship U-Turns

Lori, who has been writing the study, summarizes chapter 5 like this:

In order to grow we have to resist the temptation to blame our unhappiness on others. We will at some point be standing completely alone in front of God explaining our choices and decisions to Him, it’s time for us to take responsibility for these decisions. It’s only in the stripped down honesty with ourselves that we can see where we need to make changes. Romans 14:12 and 2 Corinthians 13:5 are wonderful verses to reference and pray when in this phase of change. (pg 88-92) We MUST face our past choices and come clean in order to stop the pattern of poor choices. Sheila also addresses fears and the importance of examining these fears in order to become completely responsible for our decisions.

*A servant attitude
We all know that as Christians we are called to lives of servant hood, but let’s be honest, it’s not a culturally popular! Being a woman with a servant attitude does not mean that we “lose ourselves in the process.” “That is not Christlike servant hood,” states Sheila. Perhaps the best illustration was that of Jesus, when he washed the feet of His disciples. He was not serving them out of anything but LOVE. Jesus lost nothing by serving them, he instead taught them LOVE. Those men loved and respected Him and it was in his servant hood to them that he taught them.

There is a significant difference between being subservient and having a servant attitude, and that difference lies in mutual respect. In families where mutual respect and responsibility are found, then everyone would adopt a servant attitude, wouldn’t that be a wonderful world? We have to again take responsibility for ourselves. We have to learn to live with this servant attitude that has us doing the things we do for “free.” In a world that tells us that you should be rewarded for “doing,” this can be a trap we fall into. Coming to a place where we model the servant’s heart that Christ had is the path we need to follow. We learn to “give” love rather than “gain” love. (page 100) …

There’s lots more, and you can read it here!

Balancing Tipped Scales

You know that saying, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing?”.

Or, another way to look at it, “major on the majors; minor on the minors.”

Too often in our homes we major on the minors. We concentrate on cleaning and laundry and looking like we have it all together and don’t focus on God, and relationships, and the things that ultimately matter.

So let’s talk today about how to “major on the majors”.

Here’s what Lori, who’s running the book club, says to start off:

This week as we make our way through the book, we are looking at “Balancing Tipped Scales.”

I had to laugh out loud. It’s in the first paragraph of this chapter that Sheila speaks of, “sitting down relaxing, you may stare off into space and, in the process, notice that your walls need cleaning.” HA! It’s not the walls that I noticed in a recent “relaxation” moment, but rather the glass on the front door. The sun was shining in so perfectly that it ENHANCED its desperate need to be cleaned! I could mind you, clean from dusk to dawn. Dusting, mopping, wiping, Swiffering, but I will certainly not be any happier, right?

We all want contentment really. How can we balance those scales that tend to tip us in the direction of constant cleaning? SCHEDULES, is what Sheila suggests. Schedules will ultimately free us from the “bondage” of housework. It will free us to explore the other gifts and talents that God has so generously bestowed on us. Not to use them is a waste.

The New Priorities Model 

What exactly is the “New Priorities Model?”
Shelia suggests that if we begin “block at least fifteen minutes throughout the week in three different renewing areas- two from “Relationship Care,” two from “Personal Care,” and two from “Spiritual Care,” then we will begin to see a balance approach to our lives. (page 71)
Now I know that scheduling may be the last thing that you want to do. Does that make it sound like I’m making you even more into a drill sergeant than anything else?

But that’s not the aim. Instead, I think it’s liberating.

Here’s the point: if we don’t schedule stuff in that’s important first, it won’t get done. If you decide that at some point today you’re going to read your Bible, you won’t. Something will always get in the way.

If you say to yourself, sometime this week I will go to the gym, you won’t. There will never be a free moment.

If you say, “I will play a game with my child this week when things are quiet”, you won’t. And then you’ll feel guilty about it afterwards.

Do you see what I mean?

And if you don’t do these important things, you’re going to start to feel very exhausted. Because it’s these important things that feed our souls. When we’re not caring for ourselves, and caring for our relationships, but we’re only caring for our homes, we’re never going to feel fulfilled.

Major on the majors.

Read the rest of what Lori wrote here.

 

This Ain’t My Momma’s House

Here’s how reviewer Lori starts off:

We ALL want it. We want to utilize our time for “fulfilling purposes, pursuits and goals,” right? For most of us, if not ALL, housework is something that we HAVE to do and it’s just not a big ball of fun. Sheila tells us WHY we get so little out of those chores that all accumulate into “housework.” On page 51, she lays out quite well why it disagrees with most of us.

Anything that you:
a.) do alone
b.) never get thanked for
c.) never really finish, it just needs redone tomorrow
is likely not going to rate HIGH on the charts.

Given this, most of us don’t greet these tasks with Mary Poppins enthusiasm or have an overwhelming DESIRE to unload the dishwasher or fold the laundry. Well ladies, we’ve been sold a bill of goods. We are given image after image of WHAT a home SHOULD look like, and told that we should be “SUPERWOMEN.” When we don’t feel we meet the standards that we have set for ourselves or we hold to standards of someone else, like our mothers or mother in laws, we are simply setting ourselves up for disaster and depression.

 

Read the rest of what she wrote here.

 

But think about this: Here’s the crux of the matter: our standards can choke us because we’re focusing on the wrong things. We are so caught up in what we should be doing in terms of housework that we ignore what God’s true purpose in our lives.

Does it honestly matter if all your laundry is done, if your children haven’t had a peaceful word said to them all day? What’s more important: the spotlessness of your house or playing with your children?

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Is there any escape from the mundane??
Not likely, but perhaps there is hope in our perspective.
Did those women of previous generations have it any easier? Was life simpler? Did THEY escape the mundane?

Sheila Gregoire gives us a glance into 3 women’s lives from era’s gone by in chapter 2. One woman living in 1869, one from 1952 and a woman of our day, 2002. Why do we feel that somehow they coped better, managed it better, and somehow ended the day, “less tired.”

Bob Dylan appropriately sung the words…

“Times they are a changin'”

The reality is that many things have changed.

We do not live in small, close knit communities as much as those sisters of the past. Our families are spread out, we cannot leave our children outside alone with the assurance that someone we “trust” would be watching out for them. With the reality of relocations and job transfers, we simply don’t always stay in one place anymore.

With these changes, we’ve seen the role of women change as well. It’s interesting to notice that while while women working “outside the home” is a relatively new phenomenon, the woman who was farming in a small town in 1869 was involved with every aspect of her home and often her husband’s business. They really were a team. Today we’ve seen the emergence of husbands and wives moving often in different directions rather than collaborating in business together.

Then there are the kids….

 

Read more here.

Change

You’re exhausted. You feel like you work non-stop. It’s hard to keep your life together.

You can’t live like that forever, so what’s going to change? And what are you waiting for? Learn how to make change a reality in your life and to start taking some real steps to letting God in and making things better.

Here’s my blog post in response to their blog post! Don’t you just love the internet?